The following is a guest entry written by Eric Basile.
‘Election Expert’ Kevin Binversie declares Voter ID law ‘A-OK.’
Kevin Binversie – serial reality-denier, Republican thug apologist, and self-appointed election expert – is back again with a column hyping the results of the February 21 primary election as validation that Wisconsin voter ID requirements are no big deal.
While it is true that the recent Feb. 21 primary election was conducted largely without incident, Mr. Binversie conveniently neglects to mention that it was an extremely low turnout election. This, despite the fact that the Wisconsin Reporter article his comments stem from makes reference to the low election turnout no less than five times.
Dane County Clerk Karen Peters: “I think because it’s such a small turnout, the people (who were voting) were prepared.”
Wauwatosa City Clerk Carla Ledesma: “There were no lines, it’s not that high of a turnout election,” she said. “Many of the locations had nobody when I was there.”
Susan Edman, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission: “It’s been a very quiet election; voter turnout hasn’t been real heavy.”
Most municipal clerks were forecasting turnouts of approximately 10 percent. In my humble home, the City of Sun Prairie, there were only 1,611 ballots cast on February 21. If we use the latest available GAB voter registration data, this means an approximately 9.75% turnout in Sun Prairie. No surprise there – there were no national or statewide races on the February 21st ballot, and it’s likely that the few people who bothered to vote were die-hard voters who already possess a photo ID.
Yet, in the bizarre fantasy world Mr. Binversie appears to inhabit, an obscure spring primary with no headline races and abysmal voter turnout is somehow proof positive that the system works just fine and isn’t disenfranchising anyone.
Compare the 1,611 ballots cast on Feb. 21 in Sun Prairie to the Fall 2008 election when 14,780 ballots for President were cast. Only one tenth as many voters turned out in Sun Prairie for the February 21 primary as did in Fall 2008. Mr. Binversie knows full well that the vast majority of voters generally don’t turn out unless it’s in a presidential election.
The truth is neither I, nor Mr. Binversie, nor anyone else for that matter – have the slightest clue how this is going to work in a high-turnout election, with large numbers of occasional voters, the elderly, college students, absentee ballots, and provisional voters. These are all factors that were almost entirely absent in the February 21st election.
And let’s not forget, Mr. Binversie, that it was the stooges from your party that tried to close DMV locations around the state, which would have made it that much harder for individuals to obtain photo ID. It’s those same stooges that are making damn sure that the DOT can’t publicize the fact that individuals seeking an ID for voting purposes may obtain that ID free of charge. And finally, despite Mr. Binversie’s bombastic insistence that “it is almost impossible to function in society without an ID card,” he conveniently forgets that there’s plenty of people – like Ruthelle Frank of Brokaw, who never needed an ID until now. But that’s what you get when you have a thirty-something Republican blowhard who thinks he knows everything.
So, Mr. Binversie, popping the champagne cork and celebrating the success of voter ID is more than a tad premature, pal. Perhaps you might consider withholding the snide and condescending remarks until we see how the voter ID law impacts a high-turnout and high-stakes election. The commentary you peddle is short on facts, and long on empty-headed partisan cheerleading. But I suppose you’ll crank out any old piece of garbage, so long as the checks keep rolling in from your anonymous Franklin Center donors, huh?